Thursday, August 24, 2006

Swimming: The Introverts workout of choice

For about the last two months I've been pretty good about going to the gym regularly. I started with a week or two in the cardio room, mostly on the stationary bike. Then I got back into swimming. I love swimming. I swam a lot in seminary, and I've recently remembered how much I enjoy it. But alas, today the pool was closed because of a "chemical imbalance." I've had a few friends claim the same thing, and its probably for the best to stay away from the pool on days like this, I don't want to be there when it has a breakdown.

So Aubrey and I were both forced to go back to the cardio room for our workouts. It poured rain all day, so doing something outside was not an option. I got back on the stationary bike today, and suddenly it all came together, and I realized why I like swimming so much. Its the perfect workout for introverts. There I was in the cardio room. It was pretty busy today, with the rain and all. People chatting all around me, Annoying Gym Guy two bikes down from me huffing and puffing unnecesarrily loudly, the spinning class right in front of me watching their video of the tour de france (at least I assume it was le tour, are there any other bike races in the world that get televised?), and everyone just being all self conscious. The guy on the bike next to me annoyed me too, but I'm not sure why. And some people just need to be told that a tank top and spandex don't work with their body type. But when I swim, none of these things bother me! For one thing, there are not nearly as many people in the pool room, and the ones who are their have their mouths under water, so nobody's talking, and its nice and quiet. Secondly, I get to claim a whole section of pool as my own, 25 meters long, and 2 meters or so wide, is all my territory, no one else can invade my private little pool kingdom. Thirdly, after a while my goggles fog up, and without my glasses I can't see a thing anyway, so its like the whole pool room is mine, I sure don't see anyone else in there. (Sometimes my friend Erin shares the pool room with me, and she has to identify herself when she sees me, cause I can't tell who she is without my glasses.)

There are other reasons to love swimming, such as the fact that I love the smell of chlorine, I don't know why, but I do. I've never smelled a pleasant smell in the cardio room. Also you don't need to shower after swimming, cause its like working out in the shower. I don't think swimmers are as pretentious either. I always feel like everyone in the cardio room wants you to look at them, wearing them spandex, holding their 3 pound wieghts in each hand while they walk. Swimming releases natural mellowing agents, that help people relax, and feel good about life. The cardio room does the opposite.

All in all, I recommend swimming. Just don't invade my little pool kingdom.

4 comments:

amy said...

You totally nailed it! This is EXACTLY why I love swimming. I never really knew why. But you nailed it. I've always hated gyms, hated spandex, hated the general feel of the place...but the pool was always different. I actually feel motivated enough to get my pregnant self out of bed tomorrow morning and head down to the gym.

This is Aubrey's long-lost grade school pal, Amy...just so I don't get confused with a random blog eavesdropper/spammer :)

And Aubrey, thanks for all the great job tips for Callie! She's actually really excited about the bank possibility and applied online tonight, I think. Hopefully you all can connect at some point when she gets down there.

Take care,
Amy

Aubrey said...

Every time I come from the pool, Jeff always comments on how nice I smell. Does he comment when I'm wearing perfume? No. Maybe I should look for chlorine-flavored perfume. He would totally dig it.

Ken Shomo said...

Jeff,

I am a people person and therefore, by your analysis, a gym guy. And, in fact, I do use the gym more often than the pool. However, I don't want anyone to look at me - one of my fears is that someone will - and I tend to close myself off in my iPod world while I work out...

Ken

Peter said...

Ken, you have an iPod?

Jeff, this post is very illuminating!